Janis Kerman’s studio is a renovated coach house a short path from her home. The walls are covered with an impressive book collection on objets d’art, jewelry and artifacts, memorabilia, photos and sculptures – all arranged in a specific balance. Her desk is alive with a laptop, a pair of burgundy-framed glasses, coloured pencils, client’s notes and logistics paperwork. Sketches are meticulously ordered accompanied by the appropriate stones. Clients who visit the studio for custom designs witness the intimacy of her creative inspirations and participate in the design process, from inception to finished wearable jewelry.
She sketches and designs everywhere. She seeks out, chooses and commissions rare and unusual stones to satisfy every aspect to ensure the originality of each piece. Whether the earrings are mismatched or she is remodeling a family heirloom for the 21st century, the essence of her signature, “it’s the balance, not the symmetry”, is unmistakable.
Ms. Kerman discovered her aptitude, enjoyment and infinite abilities in jewelry design and construction at summer camp when she was 15. A knee injury limited her from any physical activity and provided an opportunity for her creativity in “arts & crafts”. She continued her studies at the Saidye Bronfman Center in Montreal, Boston University, various workshops and seminars and apprenticed with many esteemed jewelers. The first studio of Janis Kerman Design opened in 1977.
From 1980 to 1988, in addition to her own designs, Ms. Kerman partnered with Nicole Lachapelle to create seasonal lines of fashion accessories and handbags combining leather and metal work. She became notable for her mismatched designs in niobium. In the early 1990’s, Ms. Kerman moved exclusively into using fine metals and stones in her one.of.a.kind contemporary pieces.
Ms. Kerman is represented in over 30 galleries across Canada, the United States and regularly visits these galleries to meet with clients for the sole purpose of commissions. She shows annually at SOFA Chicago with Gallery Option Art. Ms. Kerman has taught, mentored and delivered presentations on her work both in Canada and the United States.
As of 2011, Ms. Kerman began a collaboration with her daughter Erin Wahed to create the contemporary jewelry line, Bande des Quatres.